The giddy thrill of chasing money that fell from a Brinks truck on a NJ highway has crashed into the harsh median of reality. East Rutherford Police Captain Phil Tamorina has this message for anyone who may have jumped out of their cars for some quick cash: "It’s not finders, keepers."
On Thursday morning, a Brinks truck had a malfunction that caused a door to open and spill money along Route 3. Some opportunistic drivers stopped on the highway and got out of their cars to scoop up some of the bills. (There were two crashes related to the stopped cars.)
Witness Betsy Richards saw the action from a NJ Transit bus. "I saw fives, I saw tens, but I also saw hundred dollar bills," Richards said. "They were scattered all over the place." She added that the Brinks truck driver was "kind of laughing and crying at the same time" as he tried to capture some of the bills.
Keeping the money could, according to NJ.com, lead to "charges of theft of mislaid goods... Police are continuing to make arrangements with those who have reported picking up stray cash, and are investigating who else may have taken some."
"It's theft of mislaid property," East Rutherford police Detective Lieutenant Mike Gianscaspro said. "So we're not looking to charge anybody, we're just looking to get the money back to Brinks." (The East Rutherford police asks anyone with information, video or pictures to contact police headquarters at 201-438-0165.)
So far, about $7,000 has been returned. Brinks said it was investigating the incident.
Update: East Rutherford police said on Friday that a total of $510,000—one bag of $370,000 and another with $140,000—fell off the truck. The Record reports, "Brink's personnel and honest drivers retrieved about $205,000. Five people then handed back another $11,000 as of Friday."